Well, this is strange. Three Edison Tech High (Rochester, N.Y.) basketball players were recently arrested for refusing to clear a sidewalk where they were waiting for a school bus to take them to their game.
As reported by Rochester Homepage, Edison Tech players Raliek Redd, Daequon Carelock and Wan’Tauhjs Weathers were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct last Wednesday for standing on a sidewalk where they had been told to wait for a bus to take them to their scheduled basketball game. The three boys were handcuffed as their coach, Jacob Scott, arrived on the scene and asked officers to release the teenagers. That’s when he was told he was at risk of arrest himself.
"[The police officer] goes on to say, 'If you don't disperse, you're going to get booked as well,'" Scott told Rochester Homepage. "I said, 'Sir, I'm the adult. I'm their varsity basketball coach. How can you book me? What am I doing wrong? Matter of fact, what are these guys doing wrong?'"
According to officers, the three Edison Tech players were obstructing pedestrian traffic and preventing, "free passage of citizens walking by and attempting to enter and exit a store." Paperwork for the arrests shows that the three teenagers were allegedly given multiple verbal orders to disperse, but refused to because a school bus was scheduled to pick them up from that spot and transport them to their game.
After being arrested and booked, all three teenagers had to be bailed out by their parents at a cost of $200 per student. Otherwise they would have spent Thanksgiving in jail.
On Friday, the three boys were arraigned and pleaded not guilty to the charges against them. Scott was vigorous in his defense of his players, as was Rochester school board member Mary Adams, who showed up at the court appearance to support the teens.
"It's a catastrophe. These young men were doing nothing wrong, nothing wrong. They did exactly what they were supposed to do and still they get arrested," said Scott. "I'm speaking to the officers with dignity...and still and yet - [other players on the bus] see me get treated like nothing."
Luckily for the Edison Tech teens, all charges were dropped late Tuesday, exonerating them from a crime that it always seemed clear they didn't commit. The focus now shifts to the Rochester police department itself, which will have to explain the actions of the arresting officer.
- - - - - - -
- Crime & Justice
- Society & Culture